Millionaire Robert Durst Was In HBO’s ‘The Jinx.’ It Led To His Murder Conviction
Millionaire Robert Durst Was In HBO’s ‘The Jinx.’ It Led To His Murder Conviction.
On Friday, a jury in Los Angeles found Robert Durst guilty of killing his closest buddy 20 years ago, in a case that gained fresh life when the New York real estate heir appeared in a documentary linking him to the murder related to his wife’s 1982 disappearance.
Susan Berman, who was murdered in the back of the head at point-blank range in her Los Angeles home in December 2000 as she was about to tell authorities how she helped cover up his wife’s death, was convicted of first-degree murder by Durst, 78.
Durst’s close confidante, Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas gangster, told pals that she supplied a false alibi for him after his wife disappeared.
Prosecutors presented a picture of a wealthy narcissist who disregarded the law and brutally disposed of anyone who stood in his way.
They linked Berman’s death to Kathie Durst’s alleged death and the 2001 murder of a tenant in a Texas flophouse where Robert Durst was holed up while fleeing New York police.
Durst was arrested in 2015 while hiding out in a New Orleans hotel on the night of the last episode of “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” in which he was confronted with damning evidence and allegedly made a confession, according to prosecutors.
On a live microphone in a toilet, Durst could be heard mumbling to himself: “There you have it. You’ve been discovered.”
Durst’s choice to testify in his own defense, in the hopes of repeating his acquittal in the Texas murder case, backfired.
when he was forced to confess lying under oath, made damaging admissions,
and had his credibility shattered when questioned by the prosecution.
The conviction is a win for police who had been trying to put Durst in jail for murder in three different states. Durst was acquitted of murder in Galveston, Texas,
where he acknowledged dismembering the victim’s corpse and throwing it out to sea,
but he was never prosecuted for the disappearance of his wife,
who has never been recovered?
Since his wife disappeared, the tale of Durst, the estranged scion of a New York real estate tycoon, has been fodder for New York tabloids.
He offered so many narrative twists that Hollywood couldn’t resist producing a feature picture on his life, which led to a documentary and the uncovering of fresh evidence in Berman’s murder.
Durst eluded the authorities on many occasions, posing as deafeningly deal Despite having $37,000 in cash and two pistols in his rental vehicle,
he skipped bail in Texas and was caught after stealing a chicken sandwich in Pennsylvania.
He subsequently joked that he was “the world’s worst fugitive ever encountered.”
When his wife went missing, Durst evaded investigators’ investigation.
His problems reappeared in late 2000 when the matter was revived by New York police.
He left a life of luxury to Galveston, Texas,
where he leased a modest apartment as “Dorothy Ciner,” a lady he pretended couldn’t talk when his lawyer warned him that he would be prosecuted in the case.
After a series of accidents, including going into a men’s bathroom,
and burning his wig while smoking a cigarette in a pub, he finally ditched the disguise.
He testified that he went to LA just before Christmas to see Berman for a “staycation,”
with intentions to see some of the tourist attractions.
Durst, who had previously denied ever being in Los Angeles at the time of Berman’s murder, said at trial that when he arrived, he discovered her dead on a bedroom floor.
Berman, a writer who had known Durst since they were both students at the University of California,
Los Angeles was experiencing severe financial difficulties at the time.
Durst had paid her $50,000, and prosecutors believe she was attempting to extort,
more money from him by informing him she was going to go to the police.
murdered his Galveston neighbor Morris Black nine months after she died, claiming it was either an accident or self-defense.
Durst claimed he discovered Black in his flat, carrying Durst’s.22-caliber handgun, with whom he had become friends.
After testifying that the 71-year-old was murdered in a fight for the pistol, Durst was acquitted.
Durst then dismembered Black’s corpse and threw it into the water.
He was found guilty of destroying evidence by throwing away the body pieces.
Durst claimed he felt like a pariah after the trial and the gruesome evidence of the dismemberment.
Despite a reported wealth of $100 million, he was turned down by many condominium associations and was told that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art would only accept his money if he contributed anonymously.
Despite implicating him in three murders, Durst believed that a 2010 feature film based on his life,
“All Good Things,” featuring Ryan Gosling as him,
and Kirsten Dunst as Kathie was mostly true and presented a sympathetic picture of him.
He only complained because he was shown murdering his dog, something he would never do.
contacted the director and agreed to participate in long interviews for a documentary.
He urged his pals to do the same and provided access to boxes of his documents to the filmmakers.
After “The Jinx” premiered on HBO in 2015, he began to regret his choice, calling it a “very, very, very huge mistake.”
The documentary producers uncovered key evidence linking him to an anonymous letter delivered to cops leading them to Berman’s dead corpse.
Durst told filmmakers that “only the murderer could have written” the letter,
because he was so sure he couldn’t be linked to it.
He was approached by filmmakers with a letter he had sent to Berman a year before. The penmanship was similar on each, with Beverly Hills misspelled as “Beverley.” He couldn’t tell the difference between the two.
The movie’s conclusion occurred when Durst walked away from the camera,
and whispered into a live microphone in the toilet, “Killed them all, of course.”
Durst denied murdering his wife and Berman during 14 days of testimony that Judge Mark Windham described as “devastating.” Durst also claimed he would lie if he did.
He attempted to explain away the letter and what prosecutors said was an unguarded confession.
Durst acknowledged on the witness stand for the first time that he sent the letter.
and was in Los Angeles at the time of Berman’s death.
Durst said that he sent the letter because he wanted Berman discovered.
but didn’t want anybody to know he was there since it would seem suspicious.
Even he said that he couldn’t see how he could have written the letter without murdering Berman.
“It’s extremely difficult to believe, to comprehend,” Durst said, “that I wrote the letter and did not murder Susan Berman.”
It was one of the few truths Durst uttered amid a barrage of falsehoods, according to a prosecutor.